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Long range forecasting of an exceptional summer - by James Warner

It’s not often we can use words such as dry, hot, and sunny, to describe a UK summer. Although we commonly experience a hot spell of weather most years, this summer has been particularly unusual in the persistence of dry, sunny weather, which extends back to late May. What makes it more pronounced is the stark contrast to spring, which saw well below average temperatures in March and  above average rainfall into April.

SkyDayProject

The SkyDayProject has a single goal – to connect people across the world via our magnificent sky! Initially set up by the award winning artist Ben Whitehouse, as a way to encourage people to talk about our planet and climate, the SkyDay team is now made of an inspiring mix of artists and scientists, including a Nobel prize sharer and an astronaut.

 

Science Lesson: An introduction to remote sensing

Satellites for observing the Earth’s surface have been used since the 70’s and ever since advanced our understanding in science. Using satellites allows us to observe and detect changes in the most remote regions of the Earth. The first land cover satellite named Landsat 1 was launched by the United States on 23 July 1972. This mission and many more have continued providing an enormous collection of satellite imagery.

Heatwaves and Drought in the UK

The UK has experienced over 16 consecutive days of temperatures at or exceeding 28°C between June and early July this year. A record breaking series of wildfires have burned across parts of Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Northern Ireland and Wales. This long, hot and dry summer has had a major impact on the UK but have we experienced this before? The summer of 1976 has been noted as the most memorable heatwave with temperatures hitting nearly 36°C and exceptionally dry weather lasting 16 months, starting in May 1975.

World Weather Report - July 2018

The northern hemisphere has experienced extreme heat during the first part of the summer with extreme precipitation in parts.

A report by the World Meteorological Organisation states that Japan has experienced the worst flooding and landslides in decades, breaking many previous precipitation records. It has resulted in devastation with approximately 179 people losing their lives and 10,000 houses being destroyed.

Weather review - Spring 2018

The weather story for spring 2018 is an extremely varied one. Temperatures in March and early April were below average across the country with some short spells of cold wintery weather. The UK monthly mean temperature was 1.6 °C below average for March. Weather systems during this time were predominantly coming from the west with only brief spells of settled conditions. Early spring was also wetter than average and the UK experienced 110% of its average monthly rainfall in March with most of the UK experiencing up to 119% of the average monthly rainfall in April.

Weather around the World 2018

Whilst the UK is in the middle of a prolonged period of relatively warm and dry weather, the weather elsewhere in Europe has been more varied, with unseasonable rain and snow.  An active depression over the Balkans and southern Italy in late June may have been partly associated with the warm, settled weather over western Europe – the High responsible dragged in air from Southern Russia which is perhaps cooler and more unstable than the usual air mass over the Eastern Mediterranean.